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The Vermeer Interviews: Conversations with Seven Works of Art

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In this innovative look at seven paintings by Jan Vermeer, author Bob Raczka takes on the role of interviewer and the people in the paintings become his willing subjects. From The Milkmaid to The Geographer, Raczka teases out fascinating details about these gorgeous works of art and their mysterious creator. As you might imagine, after more than three hundred years of sile ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Millbrook Press (Tm)
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Mary Louise Sanchez
Seven of Vermeer's paintings are interviewed by the author and they speak volumes about Vermeer's techniques, reasons behind his compositions, and other details that inform us about Vermeer and his life, when biographical information about the artist is almost non existant.

The interview style used in the book was most effictive in teaching me more about the paintings and Vermeer. While I found the information about Vermeer's paintings very helpful at the Riksmuseum in Amsterdam, this book taugh
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: older children and parents reading with them
This book offers some insights into seven of Jan Vermeer's paintings using a very interesting gimmick: interviewing the subject in the picture.

The 'transcription' of the interviews disects the artist's symbolic use of objects, color, light, and shadow. It also unveils hidden images the reader likely would not have observed.

interesting quote:

"Music is the companion of joy, the medicine for sorrow." (p. 29)
What a pleasure, to have an excuse to really sit and savor the paintings of Vermeer. And Bob Raczka is such an excellent guide - he recruits the subjects of the paintings themselves to explain Vermeer's tricks and techniques, details and intentions. Since so little is known about the master himself, this slight distancing device allows the speculative conclusions that art historians have drawn about his methods to be voiced without a constant drone of qualifying phrases. "Scholars think," "it is ...more
Mary Gillespie
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
OK. So even if you weren't intrigued by the Girl with a Pearl Earring, you liked the painting, right? This is a book about how to look at seven of the Dutch painter Vermeer's paintings and see things that you never noticed, things you can look for again in his and other people's paintings. It's an imagined conversation between the author, Bob Raczka, and the subjects of Jan Vermeer, the venerated Delft painter who lived from 1675-1632. It's a voyeuristic thrill as you listen in to the lively ban ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I do not want to give this book back to the library. I want to take this book and sit in front of the actual painting and have a conversation with the people in the painting. This book is set up in an interview format. The author interviews the people in the painting and they respond. It is such a great way to have you really notice all the details in the painting and also be left in on the conjectures about the painting that could not be shared any other way.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Some nice insights into Vermeer's work! Written for kids, but can be enjoyed by anyone. ...more
Aug 18, 2009 marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: age 10 and up
Another one to possibly come back this book, the author imagines interviewing the subjects of seven famous Vermeer paintings. I only read the first interview, and liked that the "interviewee," a milkmaid, pointed out several details and artist's tricks that I hadn't noticed. The calculation that went into some of these old paintings, especially knowing that this was before cameras, is easy to forget and incredible to imagine.

I was disappointed that the book's format made it so that 2/3
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Who hasn’t looked at a stunning piece of art and speculated what the artist was thinking when they painted it? What was happening in the mind of the subject being painted? Or what events led to this moment in time that is forever captured in paint for future generations to ponder? Bob Raczka plays the role of a persistent interviewer to the characters memorialized in seven of Jan Vermeer’s works, seeking answers to questions that have puzzled art lovers for hundreds of years.

Absolutely loved th
Tammy Flanders
This is a wonderful book. The idea of interviewing the subjects in the paintings is a wonderful way to learn more about the time period (social issues, status, culture, clothing etc.) as well as the artistry of the work itself.
I also like the idea of using this book in the classroom as a way to model interviewing as a skill. Interviewing a subject is a way to get to really know a 'person' and fabric of their life.
Suggested for elementary levels but I find the content so interesting that higher g
Although a book written for children, I enjoyed and gained info about Vermeer and his work from this title. An interesting way to present info by pretending to interview the subjects of seven different paintings. As well as showing the seven paintings, the book is well illustrated with items from the 1700's. Interesting for all ages.

The Milkmaid
The Geographer (model is thought to be VanLeeuwenhoek)
The Artist in His Studio
Woman in Blue Reading a Letter
Young Woman with a Water Pitcher
Woman with a
Aug 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bob Raczka does a good job introducing the elements of art history to children. I would love to see this book be an interactive app on the iPad. The text even with the clever interview style is not going to capture the interest of children. However, an audio track of this script with an overlay of the paintings would captivate them.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Year Published: 2009
Award: Book Links 2009 Editors Choice "Lasting Connections"
Age Level: 10-adult

Anyone would enjoy this book to learn more about the paintings done by Jan Vermeer. It really helps people interepret some of his most notable paintings.
Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"Interviews" with subjects of 7 different Vermeer paintings allow readers an "inside look" at what the artist may have been thinking as he worked. This is really a terrific book for getting kids to look at artwork in a new way. Art teachers should LOVE this one. ...more
Christine Jensen
Jan 30, 2010 marked it as to-read
RLL 595: Book Links 2009 "Lasting Connections" Title
The Arts
Gr. 2-5
Anna Lewis
Mar 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-book-pb
Love this book!
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: booklist-books
Very clever and I think it would be a good companion for students as they read CHASING VERMEER.
Gina Pecoraro
Book Links 2009 "Lasting Connections" ...more
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 4th-7th
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
AWESOME. Very short and very intriguing. I loved how the characters felt very human yet mysterious. The interviews flowed very well. *A must read for anyone who even remotely likes art.*
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